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Ultra-Cyclist Joe Barr sets the bar high again as he aims to beat a Guinness World Record and Raise Essential Funds for Cancer Fund for Children

White Oats are title sponsor of NI cyclist Joe Barr in his latest challenge

The week of the 10th April will see ultra-cyclist, Joe Barr attempt to beat the Guinness World record for the furthest distance cycled in seven days.

Joe is taking on the challenge to cycle 2,180 miles (3,508 Km) in 168 hours/7 days as a tribute to his son, Ross (15), who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007 and to raise fund to support other children impacted by cancer.

Off the back of an incredible 45+ year professional cycling career, Joe, aged 62, is taking on the mammoth challenge of beating the Guinness World record for the most miles cycled in 7 days, currently held by Scottish cyclist  Josh Quigley at an incredible 2,179 miles. Whilst Joe always had a passion for cycling his motivation to compete in his first endurance cycling race in 2009 was in honour of his son and to raise funds for Daisy Lodge.

Against the odds in 2008, Ross got to celebrate his second birthday, having been diagnosed at just five months old with a malignant brain tumour. Ross was diagnosed at just 5 months old with a malignant brain tumour, endured numerous rounds of treatment and is thriving at 15 years old.

In the early years of Ross’s cancer diagnosis, he and his family benefited from a therapeutic short break centre which provided some much-needed respite from the constant hospital appointments, tests and treatments and all that goes with a cancer diagnosis in the family.

Every family in Ireland with a cancer diagnosis should have the opportunity to experience Daisy Lodge, It’s a fantastic place,” said Joe speaking about Daisy Lodge. “

Whenever you go down there, they just do everything for you, so effectively it’s a home from home and it allowed us to be together as a ‘normal’ family again and that’s why I’m so motivated to raise as much funds as I can to support the new Daisy Lodge set to be built in Cong, Co. Mayo.

Joe Barr

Joe retired from professional cycling in 2004 but got back on the bike in 2009 to fundraise for son, Ross, and is still going strong. He has competed in numerous endurance races around the world including the 3000+ mile Race Across America. He has won the 1,500-mile Race Around Ireland twice and holds multiple endurance World Records in Ireland. This 7-day Highest Mileage Guinness World Record will be his most ambitious record attempt using the very challenging route of Malin Head to Mizen Head x3.

He has completed the 2000+km non-stop Race Around Ireland and, prior to that, collected hundreds of medals and trophies over the years including a medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.

Our planned therapeutic short break centre in Mayo is inspired by Daisy Lodge in Co. Down which supports approximately 450 families a year.

“The capacity in Newcastle is not sufficient to meet the all-Ireland demand and that’s why we desperately need this second centre,” said Cancer Fund for Children CEO Phil Alexander.

“We are so grateful to Joe for helping to raise funds for such a life-changing facility for children and their families. At Cancer Fund for Children, we understand that behind every childhood cancer diagnosis there is a whole family affected, and beyond the essential medical care there is a family life that needs to be rebuilt.  A new Daisy Lodge in Mayo would mean so much to these families”.

Phil Alexander, CEO of Cancer Fund for Children

A second Daisy Lodge, in Mayo will allow us to increase the number of families they can support to 1,000 per year.  This new project will effectively ensure that no child in Ireland will face cancer alone.

You can donate to Joe’s Guinness World Record Challenge here